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*-- VP debate: Kaine, Pence direct barbs at the nominees --*

FARMVILLE, Va. - The vice presidential debate between Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence opened with the both candidates trading barbs aimed at the top of their opponent's ticket.

Kaine, the running mate of Hillary Clinton, invoked a New York Times article published Sunday showing Donald Trump's tax returns from 1995, a year where he claimed a $916 million loss.

Pence, Trump's No. 2, shot back with an attack on Clinton's time as secretary of state, charging she is responsible for the expansion of terrorism in the Middle East.

And both candidates blamed the other for the negative tone the campaign has taken.

Kaine was asked by moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS News when so many Americans do not find Clinton trustworthy.

Kaine responded, invoking Clinton's lifetime of work on behalf of children and families as proof she's been a consistent and reliable public servant.

"Do they have a passion in their life that showed up before they were in public life and have they held onto that passion in elected life?" Kaine said, rattling off Clinton's record on the subject.

"That's a sharp contrast with Donald Trump. Donald Trump always puts himself first. As a candidate he started his campaign with a speech calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. ... I can't imagine how Gov. Pence can defend the hurtful, me-first campaign of Donald Trump."

Pence did just that, throwing the insult accusation back at Kaine, saying Clinton was trashing Trump to move the focus away from her failures on foreign policy.

"Senator, you and Hillary Clinton would know a lot about an insult driven campaign. It really is remarkable. We've weakened America's place in the world, stifled the American economy and the campaign of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine has been an avalanche of insults," Pence said. "There's a reason why people question the trustworthiness of Hillary Clinton and that's because they're paying attention."

Tuesday's debate, the first and only one for the vice presidential nominees, took place at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.


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